The other nine
TODAY'S ARTICLE ON CHRISTIAN SCIENCE
During my last year of college, my best friend called me one morning with startling news. Her mother's doctors had decided that an operation they had scheduled for that day was now unnecessary. My friend had spent all night reading a book I had given her earlier, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper. She told me that, as she read, the terror she felt about the surgery had quieted down. A couple of days later her mother, completely recovered, resumed her normal activities.
After that occasion, she never talked about that healing. My friend's mother did not know her daughter had spent the night reading Science and Health. I was impressed and grateful, but I didn't feel inclined to say anything further. They fervently believed in God and were faithful followers of their religion.
Something my friend read in that book prompted a moment of spiritual understanding of God and His creation. Something gave her comfort and reassurance. Even though she never told me exactly what that "something" was, I think it was the Christ that she felt in her long night of reading. Some element of the Christ, "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (Science and Health, pg. 583), had touched her consciousness and wiped away her fear. I believe her mother felt the effect of this - that she experienced the "operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation" (pg. xi).
Maybe you know of similar cases. A friend, a relative, a neighbor, who has felt the touch of the Christ but did not know or acknowledge how the healing happened. And yet this individual was transformed, blessed, and then went on, a new person. You, perhaps, felt incredibly grateful even though there was no opportunity for you to say anything. This divine influence is going on all the time. The Christ is active. Spiritual healing is happening.
Christ Jesus encountered similar situations. One day, for example, ten lepers saw him going to a nearby town. They cried out for mercy and begged him to relieve them of their suffering. The Master simply requested that they show themselves to the local clergy. They obeyed. While on their way there, they were restored to health (see Luke 17:12-19).
Jesus remarked that only one, a foreigner, had thanked him. The Master then asked where the other nine were. But he didn't try to find out where they went or what became of them. The Bible narration ends there.
For years, when I thought of the ten men healed, the nine who didn't come back to say thank you to Jesus stood out as "ungrateful" ones. Now I look at that episode from a different angle. In my own experience, I have met many people like those nine. And I am sooo glad they were healed!
The many "nine" you and I may have met are living proof that the activity of the Christ continues forever. Mrs. Eddy's explanation of the foundation of spiritual healing in the book my friend read contributed to her mother's healing. The author of Science and Health wouldn't have been surprised. Referring to Christ Jesus, of whom she herself was a faithful follower, she wrote, "The world acknowledged not his righteousness, seeing it not; but earth received the harmony his glorified example introduced" (pg. 54).
This age is beginning to acknowledge the spiritual idea. And the earth is being blessed.
... there met him ten men
that were lepers, which stood
afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.... he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them ... turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face
at his feet, giving him thanks.
(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society